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Vaughan-Bassett in Galax is donating furniture to an organization that builds houses for wounded military veterans, firefighters and first responders.
By SHAINA STOCKTON
Vaughan-Bassett Furniture in Galax has made a commitment to a worthy cause by donating bedroom suites to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a cause that establishes many different programs that benefit America’s wounded veterans, firefighters and first responders.
The donated furniture will be used in homes specifically designed for wounded veterans.
Vaughan-Bassett Vice President Bernie Rector said that the organization was brought to the company’s attention when Jim Shubert of Shubert Designs called with a proposition.
A supporter of the foundation, Shubert had begun his own project for the cause: building “smart houses” for wounded veterans.
The two companies had done business together for a mere 60 days when Shubert made his request. Rector believed in the cause as well, and accepted.
“Bernie made a huge commitment to us over the phone that day,” said Shubert. “We’d hardly known each other at that point, but he was that generous.”
So far, six bedroom suits have been shipped out for five of Shubert’s houses, but this is only the beginning. Shubert’s research has already uncovered 45 to 50 veterans who suffer from severe paralysis, multiple amputations and extensive burn damage.
One of the recipients is Marine Corps veteran Todd Nicely, 28. While serving in Afghanistan, he lost all four limbs in a land mine explosion. Since then, he has been fitted with prosthetic limbs and he is able to walk and accomplish movement with his arms.
“He is a remarkable, brave, and an incredible inspiration,” said Vaughan-Bassett President Doug Bassett.
Nicely recently paid a visit to the Vaughan-Bassett showroom, along with Sept. 11, 2001, first responder John Carroll and Jim and Linda Shubert, to personally thank the company for its contributions.
Bassett believes that the collaboration creates a “perfect marriage between an American manufacturer and a cause that supports American heroes.”
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was named for a New York firefighter who sacrificed his life in the line of duty during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Money is raised through a wide variety of fundraisers arranged by sponsors. Just a few of the foundation’s ambassadors include celebrities like Alison Sweeney, Dennis Miller and Gary Sinise, who is well-known in his performance as amputee Lt. Dan Taylor in the film “Forrest Gump.”
• More information about the foundation can be found online at wwwtunneltotowers.org.